Wondering whether Rome is worth visiting or not?
You’re in the right place as I’m about to provide a complete guide to answer the question “Is Rome worth visiting?”
Rome is one of the most famous cities in the world, but a lot of places which are famous don’t live up to their hype.
This means that there’s a common question people ask before visiting the Italian capital:
Is Rome worth visiting?
I wondered the exact same thing before spending 4 days in the city for myself.
Now, after spending some time in Rome, exploring the city and packing my schedule FULL of things to do, I can confidently answer the question of whether Rome is worth visiting or not.
So without further ado, let’s crack on.
🇮🇹 When planning a trip to Rome, I recommend using:
✈️ Flights: Skyscanner
🏨 Hotels: Booking.com
💵 Hostels: Hostelworld
🗺 Tours: Walks Tours & Devour Tours
👨👩👦👦 Activities: Viator and GetYourGuide
🚗 Car Rental: Discover Cars
🚌 Transport: Flixbus
🏥 Travel Insurance: Safetywing
💻 VPN: Surfshark
Is Rome Worth Visiting? YES!
In my opinion, yes! Rome is 100% worth visiting and I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.
I spent 4 days in Rome and travelled as a solo traveller but I saw so many couples, friend groups and families visiting Rome, and I can assure you it is the perfect destination for anyone and everyone.
As the cliche goes, pictures cannot do Rome justice. It’s so true. Seeing the Colosseum or the Pantheon in person, words cannot describe that experience.
It’s like being in a history lesson, but seeing everything in real life. To me, Rome felt surreal.
Everything is so huge too! I could never have imagined how large the Trevi Fountain is. As I said, pictures can’t replace real life.
Some things look smaller in person – looking at you, White House – but everything in Rome is much larger than I imagined.
It’s simply incredible. You have to visit Rome at least once in your life, it’s a city not to be skipped.
One of the things I found most surprising in Rome was that it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be, which is yet another reason to visit Rome.
Rome is also a very safe city. I did not feel any danger while in Rome whatsoever! Many people will ask the question, “is Rome safe?“, but my answer is yes.
Despite the popularity of Rome, it’s still worth visiting. Even though you are just one of the millions of tourists each year, Rome is worth it.
I visited Rome in winter, and it wasn’t very busy. I’d actually recommend visiting Rome in December, it was a great time of year.
But even when it’s crowded, it’s still worth it.
There are so many things to do in Rome, so many great places to eat, and so many top-class places to stay. The city has it all. Whether you stay for a day or a month, you’ll never run out of things to do in Rome.
20 Best Things To Do In Rome
It’s one thing me telling you that Rome is worth visiting, but it’s another me telling you why.
Plus, you need to know whether Rome is worth visiting for you. So to help you decide for yourself whether Rome is worth visiting, I’ve put together a list of my 20 favourite things I did in Rome.
Trust me, they were all absolutely incredible, and this is just a taste of what Rome has to offer.
1) Visit the Colosseum: The Colosseum is Rome’s most famous landmark and one of the seven wonders of the world. Seeing it in person is indescribable, it’s a true pinch-yourself moment and I still remember seeing it for the first time, it was phenomenal. Not to mention taking a tour of the Colosseum and going inside. Wow!
2) Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain: One of the most famous fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain is another must-do when visiting Rome for the first time. As the tradition goes, throw a coin while facing away from the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder and make a wish. I guarantee that the Trevi Fountain is so much bigger than you imagined!
3) Walk through the Roman Forum: The Roman Forum is the old “city centre” of ancient Rome and there is an abundance of ruins and artefacts to see while walking through the forum. The best bit? Entry to the Roman Forum is included in your tickets to the Colosseum! That’s why I recommend taking a private tour of the Colosseum, because it includes the Roman Forum too, and trust me, you will have a lot of questions.
4) Enjoy an authentic Italian pizza: Although originating in Naples, having a pizza anywhere in Italy will likely be one of the best food experiences in your life. I know it was for me! I would recommend the suburb of Trastevere if you are eating out in Rome, in particular the restaurant Mariuccia. And they aren’t even that expensive, pizzas generally cost me €8-14.
5) Step inside the Pantheon: The Pantheon is one of the most beautiful buildings in Rome and it’s famous for its outside, which is beautiful. But the inside, wow, it’s even better in my opinion. Some would say that the Pantheon rivals the beauty of the Colosseum. In my opinion, they both offer something completely different. Note that as of July 2023, it costs €5 to go inside and is no longer free.
6) Walk up the Spanish steps: The iconic steps of Rome, the Spanish steps, are a must-see and do. See the steps and walk up the steps, of course. The area is beautiful too, with a pretty fountain at the bottom and a stunning view from the top. There are also some nice churches and lots of opportunities for Gelato, which leads me to my next point…
7) Treat yourself to a Gelato: During my 4 days in Rome, I may have had 4 gelatos, but we won’t tell my PT that! The ice creams, or gelatos, in Rome, are some of the best I have ever tried. With so many flavours to choose from, you are bound to find one that you like. For me, I loved the Oreo and Kit Kat options, but there are more traditional flavours like strawberry available too.
8) Visit another country- Vatican City: In Rome, there is a country within a city! The Vatican City is the home of the Pope and Catholicism. You can freely enter the smallest country in the world for free with no border restrictions. Pretty cool to tick another country off your list, right? You can take tours of the Vatican too to find out more about this little country and explore some of the things to do. Speaking of which…
9) Explore the Vatican Museums: While in Vatican City, you may as well check out the Vatican Museums. The Vatican Museums are home to some of the most decorated arrays of art in the world. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it was to create some of the art pieces in the museums. It was amazing. To be honest, I’m not normally very interested in art and sculptures, but the Vatican Museums really took me aback.
10) Admire the Sistine Chapel: To top off the art exhibitions in the Vatican Museums is the Sistine Chapel. Painted by Michaelangelo, the Sistine Chapel is truly something out of a dream. Words cannot do it due justice. There are no photos allowed, but to take in the sheer size and scale of the art, you need to see it for yourself. You could easily spend hours in the room taking in all of the small details.
11) Climb to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica Dome: Bring an end to your visit to the Vatican by climbing the 500+ steps to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica and find a view over Rome like no other. If you’d prefer, you can pay a few euros extra to take an elevator half way up. But you will still have to do some of the steps. But it’s one of my favourite views in the whole world. Top tip: aim to reach the top for sunset, you won’t regret it. Take a look for yourself!
12) Spend time in the Piazza Navona: The Piazza Navona is the most famous square in Rome. It’s home to the Fountain of the Four Rivers among a few others. It’s a really beautiful part of Rome and if you visit at Christmas time like I did, Piazza Navona is home to the Christmas markets in Rome. But in terms of the square itself, it’s definitely the prettiest square in Rome too.
13) Take a tour of the Stadio Olimpico: As a football (soccer) fan myself, I couldn’t visit Rome without taking a tour of the Stadio Olimpico, home of Roma, Lazio and the Italian National Team. The stadium is also filled with history having hosted the Olympics, Rugby World Cup and numerous other sporting events over the years. And taking a tour and getting access to behind-the-scenes areas was pretty cool!
14) Visit the Bioparco di Roma: Also known as the Zoo of Rome, a trip to the Bioparco di Roma isn’t exactly at the top of people’s lists but I would still suggest it! I saw lots of animals here for the first time including a beautiful and elegant snow tiger. It is a bit outside the city centre, but if you have a couple of spare hours, the zoo is a great place to spend them.
15) Walk the streets of Rome: Honestly, this is one of the best things you can do in Rome. Simply walking the streets will allow you to find random fountains, random statues, and random buildings; all of which are extremely picturesque. Rome is a city filled with hidden gems, you simply have to get out there and find them. There is no other city like Rome in the world.
16) Take a free walking tour: Alternatively, walk the streets by taking a free walking tour. This is something I recommend in any city, especially if you’re visiting on a budget. Personally, I took a Ghost Tour of Rome at night and I learnt some really neat things about the history of Rome that I wouldn’t have learnt otherwise. I take free walking tours everywhere I go and I always use FreeTour.
17) See the Colosseum at night: Okay, this one might be cheating by using the Colosseum twice, but it deserves at least 2 spots on this list. Seeing the Colosseum at night is an entirely different experience from seeing it during the day. When it is lit up and the sky is pitch black, I can only describe it as magical. The golden glow it creates is unbelievable, like something straight out of a dream.
18) Find a busker: One of my favourite memories I have taken from Rome is finding a busker and sitting for an hour with a friend I made from my hostel. Memories like this are so special to me, and Rome is one of the best cities in the world to create memories like this. Taking in some street performances, buskers in particular is one of the best things to do in Rome at night.
19) Visit Castel Sant’Angelo: Castel Sant’Angelo is one of the most unique castles I have ever seen. And inside, there are museums which you can check out. It’s also a beautiful spot in Rome at night time as the orange lights light up the castle as it stands tall and shines bright. Similar effect to the Colosseum, but obviously nothing comes close to the Colosseum.
20) Try some authentic pasta: And last but by no means least, I couldn’t mention Pizza without mentioning Pasta, could I?! I had some amazing pasta in Rome, it is Italy after all! Again, Trastevere is the best place to find restaurants.
What Is Rome Known For?
Rome is known for its multiple-millennium-long history. With the Colosseum being nearly 2000 years old and the Pantheon also being nearly 2000 years old, Rome is filled with beautiful ancient architecture.
The city is pretty much a huge open-air museum!
But Rome isn’t just a portal to the past; it’s also a vibrant city bursting with life. For example, Rome’s contribution to fashion, with its elegant boulevards lined with designer stores, makes it a shopping paradise for those who enjoy the finer things without the hefty price tag—especially during sale seasons.
Rome is also famous for Vatican City, as I said above, it is a country within a city and a beautiful one too! The Sistine Chapel especially is extraordinary.
And of course, it couldn’t be a city in Italy without being famous for its pizza and pasta and gelato.
You will recognise that the things to do in Rome are very in line with what Rome is best known for.
Not to mention that Rome is commonly known as the “City of Love“.
Best Time To Visit Rome
When considering visiting Rome, you may wonder when the best time to visit it is. However, I don’t think there is a “right” answer to this question.
If you visit in summer, you get beautiful weather. If you visit in winter, you avoid the crowds.
There is no bad time to visit Rome, it’s an extraordinary city all year-round. As I always say about any place, there is never a bad time to visit- each time of the year just offers something different.
I visited in December, in the lead-up to Christmas and it was amazing. The weather was great, around 15°C / 60 °F every day with sunny, clear skies. And it wasn’t busy at all! Not forgetting the amazing Christmas markets in the Piazza Navona.
So in my opinion, you can visit Rome all year round and have a perfect trip. It’s one of my favourite places I have ever visited.
Also, if you are wondering how many days in Rome is enough, I would say you need to spend a minimum of 3 days in Rome.
Where To Stay In Rome
Choosing where to stay in Rome can be a tough decision. I certainly didn’t take it lightly, but I’m so glad I did my research thoroughly as I managed to stay at the most amazing hostel as a solo traveller. Visiting Rome on a budget was a lot easier than I imagined!
It’s called Freedom Traveller Hostel and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was clean, the staff were friendly and there were delicious free breakfasts each morning. Aside from the hostel, I made friends for life here, and the location is exceptional. Everything is within walking distance.
If you are a family, couple, or simply don’t enjoy staying in hostels, I suggest the Room Mate Filippo Hotel. It’s a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Rome, within walking distance of all the main attractions. It’s also affordable and well-valued for the hotel, location and what I like to call the “Rome factor”.
How To Get Around Rome
In my opinion, the best way to get around Rome is by walking. You will save an absolute fortune! It’s also pretty time-efficient.
For example, I found many times that a 32-minute drive (usually longer in a taxi due to the traffic) was a 36-minute walk. Rome is very walk-friendly!
If walking is not your preferred means of getting around, or it is not possible for you, I would reluctantly suggest taxis.
There are meters in every taxi and you will be charged fairly. You also do not tip in Taxis (read here for how to tip in Rome).
Also, to get from Rome Fiumicino to City Centre, it’s best to get the bus. It takes about 50 minutes and only costs €6!
Is Rome Worth Visiting: FAQ
Here are some related questions to “Is Rome worth visiting?” along with my answers.
Yes! 100%. I visited in December and it was so magical. Seeing Rome was amazing but seeing Rome decorated for Christmas was extra special.
Yes! As it is the down season, hotels will be cheaper and attractions will not be as busy. Not to mention, the weather isn’t awful considering it is winter.
Not at all! As I said previously, Rome is one of the cities where I have felt the most safe.
Absolutely. You simply can’t visit Rome without checking out the Colosseum. It is the main attraction and for good reason. It is absolutely breathtaking.
Conclusion: Is Rome Worth Visiting?
To conclude, if you are wondering “Is Rome worth visiting?” the answer is yes.
The city is one of the best I have ever visited. Every corner you turn, you will find something new and something exciting. There are endless things to do, see and eat.
There’s a reason that Rome is so popular, and that is because it is a city that you must experience for yourself in order to understand why it is so popular.
I would recommend Rome to everyone. I hope you enjoy your trip to Rome!
Now that you know Rome is worth visiting, I would recommend finding your accommodation. Perhaps you’ll consider a hotel near the Colosseum.